How to Become a Successful Freelancing Web Designer

How to Become a Successful Freelancing Web Designer

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 Web   design  is an exciting profession, especially if you can work from home and manage your freelancing career as your own boss. To do that however, you need a really solid plan of action or what we call in  web   design  world – a workflow. Many people understand this definition perfectly but they actually fail in building a step by step successful solution to make their dream of becoming a professional freelancer come true. You can try to figure it out on your own or spend some time reading this article to get some helpful guidance especially when you have just started in this highly competitive field.

I have been running my freelancing business for several years now. Through running into several tough case scenarios I have learned some extremely valuable lessons that made me create a very profitable career. So after this introduction there is only one thing left for me to do and it is taking you on a guided tour on how to navigate those rough waters of designing websites.

WHAT IT TAKES TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL FREELANCER

It actually takes quite a lot. First and foremost you have to believe in yourself. Just like any other business owner you are bound to face some ups and downs but that shouldn’t bring you down. What you need to do when things do not go right in the beginning is to learn how to watch the others already in the business. Your analytical mind will help you a great deal in figuring out how others did it.

Once you have done that you will quickly discover that  web   design  is an art. It consist of creativity blended with technical and marketing knowledge driven by your passion to make a splash in the world of this ever changing and evolving discipline. It is also very important to gain some insight into social aspects of this type of business, which helps you and your prospective clients alike.

FINDING YOUR WAY

In my opinion the most important step in your career, as a freelancing web designer, is to decide what kind of  web   design  you really want to do. Today the scope of this type of career is very broad and you have to be ready to outline what you want to do and what lies within your talents. There are many options for you. Some of them are as follows:

  • Front-end web designer
  • User experience designer
  • User interface designer
  • Web development (so called back-end)

Also, there are other supportive disciplines for you to get familiar with like Search Engine Optimization or marketing techniques for selling on-line to name just a few.

SO YOU WANT TO BE A FREELANCING WEB DESIGNER

My congratulations, you have just chosen one of the most difficult tasks from the list above. The reward however, is closer than you may think. Just stick to the plan below:

  • Learn, learn and one more time learn the technology you work with. Never stop exploring HTML, CSS, JavaScript, responsive  web   design , or on-page and off-page SEO techniques.
  • Make friends with graphics through Photoshop or Illustrator – or both.
  • If you can, try to learn how to code back-end (PHP or MySQL will be helpful)
  • Polish up your portfolio.
  • Learn to explore your local target markets.
  • Know you clients, their goals, the technology you are working with and current trends.
  • Know your limitations and do not hesitate to team up with the others if the project is beyond your possibilities.

THE WORKFLOW

So you managed to get a client that wants to work with you. That’s great! Now it’s all up to you. Remember that you are in control now. First go to a meeting with your client and listen carefully to his needs asking as many questions as you can. Even better, you can find online some basic lists of questions and then build on it adapting the list from one project to another.

Once you know the details of the project do some research. Look how others in the industry approached the project. Implement similar ideas or make them better to impress your client. Once you have that problem behind, you create an initial design or wire frame first and then offer your solution to your client. Be open to his suggestions but stay in control because after all you are a web designer and you have a much better grasp of designing website than you client.

While designing and explaining to your client why you have chosen that particular approach to designing his or hers website remember to give him reasons why this website works. Consider mentioning usability, accessibility, SOE and current trends to ensure overall success of the project.

BE PROUD OF YOUR WORK

Take a moment to pat yourself on the back when your website is up and running. You have just done it again or for the first time. Now gain some more knowledge and make your next project even better. If you need inspiration there is plenty of websites around to help you out. One of them could be Smashing Magazine or A List Apart, which offers more technical articles. You can also take a look what I have accomplished recently running my Milton  web   design  business.

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